The global footprint of consumer organizations continues to expand despite economic challenges. Many firms now have well-articulated marketing operations and reporting in various regions/countries. However, this reporting is usually financially and/or product or service centered, and frequently cobbled together from different countries or regions. Global customer insight is often limited and fragmented. Customer differences and similarities are often only understood anecdotally, limiting strategy and planning—and often the largest region (or marketing channel) or the “squeakiest wheel” drives decision making –rather than solid global customer understanding.
So, what’s a better approach?
Create a global customer intelligence platform for insight and analysis. In addition to robust samples of customer information –name, e-mail, transaction, web, social, along with any marketing program results from all channels and all operating regions – you’ll need:
- A partner with global customer management bonafides—a track record of global customer data management, currency and language translation, address rationalization.
- A resource with global consumer information to add to your customer data, demographics, Mosaic, customer survey research—and the skill to integrate it.
- Skillful analytic staff (in-house or consultants) with a track record of providing relevant useful insights from complex and incomplete data.
You’ll invest much less effort, cost and time with this approach than by building a global customer management database (although you may decide to do that once you understand your global customer) You’ll be able to add solid customer knowledge to your strategy and planning processes. Marketing, sales, and customer service will clearly benefit. However, product and service development, operations, finance will also gain—although there will still be “squeaky wheels”, of course. You’ll be able to confidently make better marketing investments by adding a true global customer perspective to your plans, and improve your bottom line.
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